Our Ultimate Travel Companion
Our Sur-Ron is a fully electric off-road dirt bike, made up as a mix between a mountain bike and an off road dirt/trail bike.
I’ve ridden about 700km on mine now over 6 months on the road, so I feel fairly well qualified to review it for Overlanders in particular.
What is it?
First things first – It’s Chinese. The whole premise and company are Chinese (Although now owned by Segway) and this thing would never have been made if it wasn’t for these guys pretty much creating their own segment from scratch.
There are a lot of E-Bikes on the market available now, almost every bike brand has one, and they are pretty brilliant. The Sur-ron is not an E-Bike!
It uses a lot of Mountain Bike parts, such as shocks, rims, brakes, handlebars, kickstand etc, but it is firmly in the Electric Motorbike category. The reason I say this is the throttle, and the lack of pedals. It absolutely rides like a motorbike, although very very quiet.
There are a lot of great technical articles around if you need the tech specs, but here are my real world measurements with a 95kg rider:
- Top Speed – 80km/h It’s limited to this, but it’s also when it is completely out of puff, unless you are riding down a hill.
- Range – Around 29km on the road, riding at 80km/h mostly. If you are riding more slowly or doing dirt tracks etc your range should be higher as there are less aerodynamic forces working against the motor.
- Charge time – About 3 hours to full.
- Weight – About 50kg
- Price – Around $5000 AUD unregistered, or around $6500 registered from A-E Bikes (includes assembly, testing, mirrors, headlight, indicators, number plate assembly etc)
How WE use it
Our Sur-Ron lives in the back of our Iveco Daily 4×4 Light Truck, as we travel around Australia with our caravan in tow. We are heading all around this massive country, and the Sur-Ron is coming with us along the way.
We don’t get it out at every stop we make. It’s not the first thing out of the truck, it generally stays in the truck unless –
– There is somewhere around us to ride it for fun
– We need a second transport option
– People ask about it or are interested in it
– I feel like having some fun cruising around on it
It takes bugger all effort to get it in and out of the truck. It’s possible to do it with 1 strong person, but much easier with 2 using our easy, low weight system. (A telescopic aluminium ladder and an aluminium sheet as a ramp over the top) It gets strapped in with 2 ratchet straps.
It has already come in SO handy in heaps of situations, especially when the truck is getting something done to it. We can usually camp within the 28km range of the Sur-Ron, so we drive the truck to the company, leave it, I get the Sur-Ron out of the truck and ride it back to our caravan for the day (or longer) and while there, we have a transport option for things like runs to the shop.
A lot of people mod the hell out of their Sur-Rons, throwing money at them in an effort to improve them. Personally – I haven’t ridden any that have been modded, but my bike as per stock is perfect for my uses. I’m sure if I threw $1000-$2000 at better suspension and brakes etc it wouldn’t hurt, but for me the value for money just isn’t there, I reckon ride it stock and enjoy the hell out of it. I’m still riding the stock tyres which people bag out all the time as terrible – I’m pretty happy with them!
The total sum of maintenance I have done in the last 6 months – Lubricate the chain once. That’s it!
This is the number one reason that this motorbike is the number one travel companion available on the market today. There is no engine to need servicing, no fuel to go stale, no fumes in our truck, no failing to start when you want it to work.
It just works when you turn the key. Every. Single. Time.
We wouldn’t have any other companion vehicle with us. Anything else is too heavy, or not fast enough/with enough range, or takes up too much space.
It’s easily the best money that we have spent on our trip and is worth every dollar. Saying that, it IS a luxury. It’s not necessary by any stretch, and most people heading around don’t have anything like it and manage to survive just fine.
Saying that, we get a LOT of jealousy from it 🙂